Are you unsatisfied with some aspect of your home? A renovation is a great way to get exactly what you want—if you know what you want.
We may know we want something better, but we’re not sure how to proceed. Looking at photographs, videos, and real-life examples is a great way to discover what you desire.
Here are some places to look for design inspiration.
1. Renovation Company Websites
It’s often helpful to look at before and after pictures—for example, on local renovation company websites. Contractors who specialize in home remodels will post plenty of pictures on their website to show off their handiwork.
If you’re only remodeling a specific room in the house, it’s often best to look at renovation companies that specialize in a certain room. If you’re designing your kitchen, for example, you’ll have even more photos in that category and you won’t have to rifle through irrelevant photos to find those that apply. You can view these photos and maybe pick up a few contractor bids while you’re at it!
2. Galleries of Beautiful Homes
You can find collections of beautiful, updated homes all over the internet, especially if you check out home manufacturers and contractors in your local area. You can also look at homes in person on a home tour. Many home contractors will have model homes on display so you can get an idea of their handiwork and model your home accordingly.
The mother of all design inspiration, Pinterest is filled with ideas for remodeling. Not only will you find the best professional remodeling work on these virtual pages, but there will also be DIY ideas. That way, you can do some of the work yourself and save money while pouring sweat equity into the house.
4. Your Local Library
The internet is a huge resource of inspiration, and you should fully explore its modern, updated splendor. You’ll see all the latest trends and colors as you research. But if you’re looking for classic design, don’t underestimate the power of good old-fashioned research.
Your local library’s nonfiction section should host a varied assortment of design books perfect for inspiration. They will also teach you things about space planning and metrics of good design that can translate into every aspect of your plans. Your library should have the latest issues of design magazines as well.
5. Parade of Homes Tours
If you want to see the absolute best in quality contract work and trendy designs, check out a Parade of Homes tour. These are usually available in large cities where there’s abundant contract work, so if you live in a rural area, you’ll probably have to do some traveling. There will be a fee to enter, but it’s a great experience! You’ll see the latest design work in action, and you’ll leave brimming with ideas for your home renovation project.
If your renovation is a couple of months away, take out a subscription to Architectural Digest, Better Homes & Gardens, Bridge for Design, Country Living, Dwell, Elle Décor, and other home design magazines. Read these in your spare time and learn more about crafting your own renovation plans.
If you don’t want to wait for these subscriptions to come in the mail, you can always pick them up at your local supermarket or bookstore.
7. Friends and Family
Your friends and family have homes too, and you can get a lot of ideas by looking around. You probably don’t want an exact copy of your mom’s kitchen, but you can steal little elements here and there and incorporate them into your own design.
If you can’t glean good ideas from others’ living situations, ask them for advice. They might have great Pinterest pages to share or resources that will be of greater benefit than your own. Sometimes, an opinion you can trust is the most valuable resource in the world.
8. Apps and Design Tools
You might not have to leave anything up to the imagination with modern design tools and apps. With apps like ColorSnap, Zillow Digs, Houzz, and Homestyler Interior Design, you can compare colors, play with space planning, and more.
Some programs let you use the blueprints of your home to get an exact replica of your home’s design. You’ll have a clear picture that’s much easier to manipulate than the actual room.
Inspiration is everywhere! Do thorough research and learn more about the best design styles before jumping into your own renovation.